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WHATThe Nebraska Humane Society arranges for pets to be adopted by long-term care facilities and nursing homes.
WHYPets in nursing homes can provide seniors with beneficial animal assisted therapy and stimulate senior residents who have been unresponsive. Pets can relieve boredom for senior residents who are unable to leave their beds or rooms to participate in other nursing home activities and provide a change to a senior's daily routine.
WHERENebraska Humane Society. Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Program Description

"In assisted living facilities people often find themselves frustrated and depressed. As once-active people who spent a lifetime raising families and administering to friends, they are thrust into unknown territory where they are now the ones in need of care. Many have had pets in the past—but have had to give up animals to live in a care center."

" The animals provide comfort day or night. They don't mind being told the same story over and over. They don't care if a resident is in a wheelchair, a bed, or can't speak at all. They need attention to thrive and being needed makes the residents thrive."

Before pets are allowed in nursing homes they must go through extensive training. They must pass socialization tests, and be able to adapt to new places, and the special needs of seniors residents and staff of nursing homes. Pets will need to learn how to work with nursing home staff, seniors, be comfortable around medical equipment, nursing home odors, loud, disruptive sounds, wheelchairs, walkers and other distractions.

The “Nebraska Humane Society” also runs the “AniMeals”Program which helps the elderly to afford their pets by “providing free pet food for the pets of seniors.” Seniors must qualify for the Meals on Wheels program in order to receive the free pet food benefit.

“As our senior citizens age many become a little slower-paced, a little less mobile and they don’t get out and about as much. For this segment of society the unconditional love and constant companionship of a pet can be a lifeline. That’s why the Nebraska Humane Society works to help elderly residents adopt and keep companion animals.”

The “AniMeals”Program makes it more affordable for elderly residents to adopt and keep pets. Seniors are often on fixed incomes and the priority is to pay the bills rather than keeping a pet and the costs associated with feeding and caring for them. Companion animals provide seniors with the benefits of animal assisted activities, such as providing love and nurturing, walking the dog, grooming, and feeding pets at a regular time each day.

Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities
Terminally Ill & Their Pets
Pets and Seniors Companionship
Service Dogs for Elderly

Find out more about the  “Nebraska Humane Society's Project PETS - Pet Enhanced Therapy for Seniors” Program

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